Michael Mann, the Hockey Stick … and the Climate Wars

A Peter Sinclair original video focuses on climate scientist Michael Mann … on and his first-hand view of his hockey stick and ‘climate wars’ experiences.

Years of fierce attacks on climate scientist Michael Mann of Penn State University –- and, more to the point, of the iconic “hockey stick” research –- have made him one of the most well-known and widely discussed scientists in America.

Independent videographer Peter Sinclair recently conducted a Skype interview with Mann about the time his Hockey Stick and The Climate Wars book was hitting book stores (see related post).

Sinclair’s 10-minute Yale Forum video, with his usual inclusion of poignant visuals and commentary, is designed to help both veteran and “newbie” climate science watchers better identify some of the key players in the hockey stick debate so they can better understand the narrative and the gamesmanship of what Mann’s book describes as the hockey stick “climate wars.”

View the Sinclair video. What’s your take on it? We’ll welcome your on-topic comments.

More resources here.

Peter Sinclair is a veteran videographer who originated the “Climate Crock of the Week” series and now contributes regularly to The Yale Forum.

Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Michael Mann, the Hockey Stick … and the Climate Wars

  1. AJ says:

    Thank-you Dr. Mann for all the work you do!

  2. Charles Zeller says:

    Peter Sinclair’s segment represents a valuable and undersupplied type of content. It entertainingly conveys accurate, in depth climate science information to a broader audience with overwhelming credibility.

  3. Mary says:

    Michael Mann is a fraud, and now you bring him to a college to speak????? He has been caught cheating through climate gate. But of course that is the deniers making things up! Mann even has a legal defense fund….is that not saying something?? get over it….do American want to sit in the dark, with no cars, just like the muslims? Micheal Man should be ashamed. Until alternative fuel is invented in the private sector stop the rants!!!!! The more time goes on the less people believe. Quit scaring everyone, and Michael get a real job in the private sector.

    • Charles Zeller says:

      Mary, One of government’s responsibilities is to think about the next century. The private sector has a shorter time horizon. I suggest that you think about what Hansen is saying before believing that he’s a fraud.


      • Mathias says:

        Why would the government have a longer time horizon than the private sector? Just because they’re supposed to? Sounds a bit naive to me. Governments care about reelection – so their horizon is a couple of years.

  4. Deniers go where angels fear to tread. Heartland’s Denialgate showed how the “climate controversy” is manufactured to confuse the general public. Unfortunately, a victim of this well-funded disinformation campaign has already popped up. Michael Mann’s work has been repeatedly investigated and reconfirmed sound.

    Heartland has failed on tobacco and is failing on climate. However, the delays Heartland caused in implementing restrictions on tobacco use by minors led to thousands of premature deaths. Heartland will do anything for their greedy sponsors – even act on behalf of sponsors who advertised to addict children to tobacco. Remember Joe Camel?

    It’s hard to explain how evil an organization like Heartland can be. And it’s hard to explain to deniers that they are following a Pied Piper who just doesn’t give a damn if the earth’s climate goes to Hell when there are profits to be made.

    • Nick Palmer says:

      FishOutofWater wrote:

      “And it’s hard to explain to deniers that they are following a Pied Piper who just doesn’t give a damn if the earth’s climate goes to Hell when there are profits to be made”

      It’s simplistic to claim that and un-necessarily gives the denialists ammunition.

      The process of denial means that these characters really do not know that the climate will go to Hell, but don’t care as long as they make money now. They are not like Dr Evil or a James Bond villain. They choose to believe that there is no or little threat and ignore evidence to the contrary because their ability to judge reality and asses risks is warped or biased by what they wishfully want to be true.

      That is why the are called denialists- they deny evidence that would shake their convictions.

  5. Mathias says:

    Mann argues that the flaws found by the Wegman report to be irrelevant to the outcome. Concerning policies, this may be a point – but scientifically what we care about is the methodology – not the outcome. So why would anyone in his or her right mind assume this to be a reasonable line of defense? I’m stunned. Maybe some of the Mann supporters could explain this to me. Thanks.

    • John says:

      I don’t see your point. The video is fairly explicit about the problems with the Wegman Report, and Wegman himself is on record as saying he’s not an atmospheric scientist. Mann’s is not the only reconstruction of historical temperatures out there (there are at least 12 that show the same trends), all using different ‘methodologies’. And the ‘hockey stick’ graph isn’t even the central evidence for anthropogenic global warming.

  6. Fish says “It’s hard to explain how evil an organization like Heartland can be.”

    I’d say it’s about as hard to explain as the evil that brought the Nazi Holocaust. During the Nazi’s 13-year reign, 6 million men, women and children perished in the Jewish Holocaust. The Tobacco Holocaust claims that many lives every couple of years!

    Thirty years ago, when I worked in the Science Information Division of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, we had to fight the anti-science forces that were trumpeting the latest “health message” from the tobacco industry — that pregnant women who smoke have easier, faster, less painful deliveries.

    That was true, but only because women who smoke during pregnancy are at higher risk of premature labor and giving birth to low-birthweight babies — along with a list of terribly costly and tragic defects associated with low-birthweight, which often cause lasting physical and cognitive defects and increased childhood mortality.

    So imagine the kind of planning sessions that must go on behind the closed doors of Heartland and other tobacco, coal, and oil industry-supported think tanks, as they develop their anti-science campaigns to counter health organizations’ warnings of the dangers of second-hand smoke, ozone in the atmosphere, and global warming:

    Bighearted 1: The Boss wants us to come up with a plan to
    counter this crap about low-birthweight babies. Our marketing
    surveys show that these messages are beginning to slow the
    growth of new women smokers.

    Bighearted 2: “Say, what about playing on women’s vanity — you
    know how they worry about stretch marks, sagging breasts, and
    having to go through long, painful labor? How about a campaign
    that turns bad into good? Never mind those wrinkled little worms
    getting hooked up to ventilators in neonatal intensive care units.
    “You’ve come a long way baby — don’t give up your looks now.”

    Bighearted 3: Not bad. I’m sure we can get Al Feinstein at
    Yale to churn out another epidemiological study for us that shows
    how smoking moms have faster and easier labors. He’ll
    fast-track it into one of the epidemiology journals he helps edit.
    I know the Wall Street Journal and the National Review will run
    all over that one for us.

    Bighearted 1: Lets run it by Ed and Bill at the Tobacco Institute
    and the Tobacco Research Council. But first, let’s draft some
    messages and test them in front of a focus group of pregnant
    women and women trying to get pregnant. I think we might
    have something here.

    Someday we might need to write a sequel to Chris Buckley’s hilarious satire “Thank You for Smoking” to recognize the evil scoundrels now working for the fossil fuel industry. It could be called “Thank You for Becoming Extinct.” But it probably will be too late.